Japans Minister of State and Director General of the Environment Agency, Sukio Iwadare, thanked the COP for its decision to take up his countrys offer to host and cover the costs of COP-3 in Kyoto, Japan, from 1-12 December 1997. He said much remains to be done if a protocol or other legal instrument is to be adopted at COP-3. The meeting will be a significant step forward to the construction of an economy and society that place less of a burden on the environment. His delegation supported agreement on an effective legal instrument at COP-3.
REPORTS FROM THE SUBSIDIARY BODIES: SBSTA Chair Tibor Farago (Hungary) reported on the SBSTAs discussion on the IPCC SAR. He said an unfinished draft decision with brackets (FCCC/CP/1996/L.11) remained for the COP to resolve. The draft decision provides advice on how the SAR can be used for implementation. He suggested that bracketed texts with alternative references to the SAR be deleted. He also reported on decisions adopted in conjunction with the SBI on Communications from Annex I Parties (FCCC/CP/1996/L.13 and Add. 1) and on Communications from non- Annex I Parties (FCCC/CP/1996/L.12). The SBI and the SBSTA also agreed on a decision on activities implemented jointly (FCCC/CP/1996/L.7). Progress was made on a roster of experts and technical panels and the SBSTA will also reconsider NGO consultation mechanisms and cooperation with the IPCC.
SBI Chair Mohammad Ould El Ghaouth (Mauritania) also referred to the three draft decisions agreed with the SBSTA. He said the process has not been easy and it is the responsibility of the COP to define changes and directions to be taken in future to secure the support of the largest number of Parties. The starting point for open and purposeful examination in future will be based on the view that a certain body of experience is necessary. This will make a non-confrontational approach possible.
AGBM Chair Ra�l A. Estrada-Oyuela (Argentina), reported that he will present a summary of all proposals received by 15 October at AGBM-5 in December 1996. It is hoped that this contribution will provide a framework tool for discussion and be a major step forward in developing a negotiating text. To date, much attention has been given to analysis and assessment exercises. The debate has been difficult, however, the round tables produced satisfactory results. No great progress was made on policies and measures. With regard to QELROs, it was necessary to reconcile fairly divergent views. Participants focused on differentiation of commitments and the likely impact on developing countries of new Annex I undertakings. Implementation of Article 4.1 (common but differentiated responsibilities) of the FCCC by non-Annex I Parties was also considered.
He stated that the AGBM is no more than the sum of the will of the governments represented. Many would have preferred to have made greater progress. The Geneva Declaration will be particularly significant for future AGBM activities. Detailed consideration will be given to the legally binding nature of the targets and objectives.
AG-13 Chair Patrick Szell (UK) said the first session of this Group dealt with a questionnaire sent to Parties, IGOs and NGOs, inviting views on the definition of a multilateral consultative process and views on the way in which such a process should relate to other articles.
There was also a call for a panel presentation on the experiences of other bodies with MCPs. This workshop took place during COP-2, with nine invited speakers addressing compliance in international environmental agreements. One of the main messages was that other organizations use a variety of mechanisms ranging from the provision of advice or assistance through to full complaint or supervisory regimes. A decision will be needed on which approach will be most appropriate for Article 13 or whether either or a combination will be appropriate.
A half-day meeting of AG-13 took place after the workshop. It received a report on the workshop and a formal presentation of a synthesis document containing responses to the questionnaire. Two draft decisions were adopted, one on the Groups continued existence into 1996-1997, and a second to enable the AGBM, should it be considered desirable, to seek AG-13 advice on a multilateral consultative process (FCCC/CP/1996/L.1). It may not be possible to complete the Groups work for COP-3, but the work of AG-13 should be on the road to completion by December 1997.
ADOPTION OF DRAFT DECISIONS: The Plenary then considered adoption of the draft decisions negotiated by the subsidiary bodies. Under reports of other subsidiary bodies (Agenda Item 7), the following documents were adopted without amendment: Report of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (FCCC/CP/1996/L.4 and FCCC/CP/1996/L.5) and Report of the Ad Hoc Group on Article 13 (FCCC/CP/1996/L.1). Under review of the implementation of the FCCC and of COP-1 decisions (Agenda Item 5), the following documents were adopted without amendment: Development and transfer of technologies (FCCC/CP/1996/L.16) and Activities implemented jointly, annual review of the pilot phase (FCCC/CP/1996/L.7).
Two alternate paragraphs in brackets, in the Report of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (FCCC/CP/1996/L.11), containing SBSTAs interpretation of the Second Assessment Report of the IPCC, were deleted at the suggestion of the President. The amended document, lacking an interpretation of the SAR, was adopted. The MARSHALL ISLANDS pointed out that a majority of delegations supported the stronger interpretation of the SAR. He stated that he would reluctantly go along with the decision, which he called a victory for the minority. The EU called the SAR the most authoritative assessment on the science of climate change, and strongly endorsed it as the basis for urgent action to negotiate a protocol or other legal instrument. SAUDI ARABIA disagreed with this assessment.
No consensus was reached on a number of issues under this agenda item. Under communications to the GEF (Agenda Item 5(a)), the President asked for submissions from Parties for consideration at future meetings. Under intensifying efforts under the Berlin Mandate process, the President asked for submissions from Parties to provide an initial negotiated text at AGBM-5.
Under decisions to promote effective implementation (Agenda Item 6), the following documents were adopted without amendment: Communications from Annex I Parties (FCCC/CP/1996/L.13 and Add.1); Communications from non-Annex I Parties (FCCC/CP/1996/L.12); and Guidance to the GEF (FCCC/CP/1996/L.9). The G- 77/CHINA emphasized that this is the only document accepted by the COP on guidance to the GEF. The President then stated that no consensus had been reached on the Annex to the Memorandum of Understanding between the COP and the GEF Council. He noted that two documents would be submitted to SBI-4 for further consideration, the draft MOU already adopted by the GEF Council (FCCC/CP/1996/9), and an alternate text submitted by the G-77/CHINA. He invited Parties to submit additional comments before then. This course of action was accepted by the Plenary.
Under administrative and financial matters (Agenda Item 8), the following documents were adopted without amendment: Establishment of the permanent Secretariat (FCCC/CP/1996/L.2 and FCCC/CP/1996/L.14) and Income and budget performance and resource deployment for 1997 (FCCC/CP/1996/L.3 and FCCC/CP/1996/L.8).
The Plenary then considered the schedule of meetings and the election of officers other than the President. Ra�l A. Estrada-Oyuela (Argentina), who chaired a contact group on the issue, reported that there was no consensus among the regional groups. Consultations will continue before the subsidiary body meetings in December 1996.
Parties then considered the Ministerial Declaration. The President recalled the discussions during the Ministerial Segment, where delegates agreed to note the decision and attach it to the report of the meeting. He allowed some delegates to make statements for the record. VENEZUELA stated that it did not support the draft Declaration, which is neither balanced nor objective. He said there are scientific doubts and called for a dialogue on consensus. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION asked that its prepared statement be reflected in the report of the session, and called for a notation that a group of Parties raised objection to the text of the Ministerial Declaration. KUWAIT proposed inserting a footnote stating that several countries have objected. AOSIS accepted the Declaration as a statement of determination to give force and direction to the Berlin Mandate. ARGENTINA objected that many of the delegates who spoke were not ministers. He said the COP was aware that some delegations have disassociated themselves from the Declaration. GERMANY proposed referring to the declaration as the Geneva Declaration.
The Plenary then considered the Draft Report of the Conference of the Parties on its Second Session (FCCC/CP/1996/L.10). SAUDI ARABIA and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION proposed that their statements on the Ministerial Declaration be annexed to the report in their entirety. The section on the rules of procedure notes that the President proposed that consideration of the item be postponed to give time for further consultations. It also notes that the draft rules of procedure should continue to be applied, with the exception of Rule 42 (voting). SAUDI ARABIA also requested that its objection to the rules of procedure be noted. JAMAICA stressed the need for transparency in the consultative process on the rules of procedure.
CLOSING STATEMENTS: The Plenary then heard closing statements. COSTA RICA, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, expressed concern with the procedure used for adoption of the Geneva Declaration, calling for transparent decision making.
EL SALVADOR, on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group, called it deplorable that COP-2 had not been able to elect officers in a proper manner, and requested the Secretariat to continue to strengthen the consultation machinery.
The Executive Secretary of the FCCC, Michael Zammit Cutajar, noted that the political content of COP-2 had exceeded his expectations, calling the Geneva Declaration the most important and visible outcome. He also singled out the decision on non-Annex I communications, calling it a further step towards universality. He praised the weight given to the implementation of commitments. He also stated that the FCCC has some way to go to encourage technology transfer, and he regretted it was not possible to agree on implementation of Article 6 (education and public awareness). He commended the Swiss government for organizing the cybercafe, a public link to the World Wide Web set up at COP-2 as a step toward reducing the volume of paper used to provide information.
COP-2 President Chen Chimutengwende (Zimbabwe) described his election as the easiest thing at this Conference, adding that almost everything after that was marked with no. He noted that it had been impossible to reach a consensus on the rules of procedure, highlighting the dilemma of trying to run everything without rules. Although he emphasized the stress involved in carrying out his duties, Chimutengwende also expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the conference. COP-2 concluded at 4:30 pm on 19 July 1996.
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